The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced it will partner with the State of New Jersey, NJ Transit and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to develop a microgrid to help power the state's transit system.
‘As we rebuild New Jersey from Superstorm Sandy, I am committed to making our state stronger and more resilient. NJ TRANSITGRID is an important step in that process,’ says New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
"This first-of-its-kind electrical microgrid will supply highly reliable power during storms and help keep our public transportation systems running during natural times of disaster, which is critical not only to our economy, but also emergency- and evacuation-related activities," he continues.
The DOE's Sandia National Laboratories has already designed advanced microgrids that are up and running at more than 20 military bases across the country. This partnership will utilize a quantitative risk-based assessment tool, entitled the Energy Surety Design Methodology (ESDM), that was developed at Sandia and allows communities to evaluate their regional energy needs, identify advanced solutions to improve the reliability and resiliency of their electric grids, and understand the most cost-effective strategies for system upgrades.
At the core of this methodology is the use of advanced smart grid technologies and the integration of distributed energy resources such as backup generators, wind generation, solar photovoltaics and storage. The DOE says previous applications of the ESDM have shown enhanced reliability and resiliency, improved integration of renewable and distributed energy, and cost-effectiveness.